These letters survived untouched in a small wooden box for more than 100 years. They were rescued from that silence by one of Donald McGilp's great-great grandchildren.
Effy McLean was Donald McGilp's sister. Her husband was Archibald McLean, and they farmed at Ulva before they emigrated to North Carolina.
Alphabetical listing of People mentioned in letters
Letter #08: from Effy McLean, and her son John, 1856
Addressed to: Donald McGilp Wallastown, O. O. Dunwich, Elgin District, Canada West State of North Carolina, Robison County, August the 14th, 1856
Archibald McMillan and family are all well; his sister Sally and family are all well, but his brother Dugald is very unwell at this time with the dropsy; he stays with his sister Sally. All the friends and Relations are all well and adoing well.
Our crops here are very light this season, owing to the dry weather; people will not make more than half crops this year. Maybe I will make nearly enough. We make no wheat, we have to buy our flour.
Peter Patterson and his family are well and doing well. Peter is very rich in family (?) And money and land. Peter Munroe and family are all well and adoing well. Peter Munroe wants to know of sister Cate, if she knows anything about his Aunt Taylor... wife, if she is living or how she is doing. Margaret Patterson, John Patterson’s widower wishes to know if you know anything about her brother Hector’s son in the Old country when you left there and when you will write to me, you will write what you know about them. You would do well to write to Peter Patterson, he would like it very well ro Remember him by writing; if you should write to him, you will direct your letter:
I hope whenever this will come to hand that you will write without delay so that I can hear from you all in Canada. I wish you to let me know how to direct a letter to sister Cate, and in so doing I will try and write to her. I would like to see you all in this world, but I do not expect to see any of you in this world.
Daniel McLean’s children are well; Neil McLean’s family are well and doing well; I will come to
close by adding that I join in hart and hand in sending to you and all my Relations my warmest love until death.
To Donald McGilp:
I take my pen in hand to write you a few lines to let you know that I am well, but not married yet. I want to marry this fall if nothing happens. I would like to see you all in Canada, but the distance is so far between us, if it was not so far, I would spend one Christmas among you all in Canada, as I have never seen any of you, I know nothing about you, but I wish I could see you all one time. I wish some of the boys would take a small Resolution and come down in the cars(?) to see us all as it would not take more than four or five days. I wish some of the boys would send me a letter; whenever they come to hand, you will direct your letter to